What is the single most troublesome factor for almost any person, any where and at any time? It’s time, or more specifically Time Management. We all struggle with it and not one of us ever claims, emphatically, that we have a handle on it. We all want more time, need more time or wish we had more time. If time is something you struggle with, consider these tips:
Break your day into “Manageable Chunks.”
- Tackling your “to do” list all at once can be overwhelming especially when there are 20+ (or more!) things that need to be done and all before the end of the week. So sort your list into “manageable chunks” of activities that can be performed at the same time. This is different from multi-tasking – this is about scheduling yourself blocks of time to complete like-minded tasks.
- Do all the work for one client on one day. For me, as a content creator, I might chunk out both the social media posting and social media blogging for each of my clients for the same day and time each week.
- When you are self-employed, chunk out a specific time of the week (or month) to do all of your dreaded accounting tasks. Don’t let anything else interrupt you.
- Block out time for business related errands that can all be done in a “travel loop” starting at one end of town and finishing up back at home ready to take on your next chunk. Better to set aside one whole afternoon for trips to your local business supply chain store, the post office and banking then to do a little bit each day, risk getting stuck in traffic or sidetracked by a sale and lose three hours of time instead of your scheduled one hour errand.
Doing what makes sense when it makes sense.
- Send emails when you can, even if that’s six in the morning or nine at night. Emails can be read by the recipient at any time and unless it’s something requiring urgent attention, focus your work efforts on WORK during the day and send emails before or after the day is over. You can always schedule a “manageable chunk” of time in the middle of your day to deal with urgent inbox items, just don’t get distracted by all the other mail you see sitting there.
- Making phone calls DOES need to happen during the business day so make sure you have a chunk of time set aside for that. Mornings are better – before meetings begin, plus it ensures your client has the whole day to return your call.
- While we’re at it – everyone needs a break so be sure to schedule time for time off. The self-employed are notorious for working odd hours and eating at their desk and sometimes you have to for sure. BUT, scheduling time for mini-breaks throughout the day will actually make you more productive. Knowing you have break time to look forward to creates laser-like focus on getting work done.
Planning and Goal Setting – it’s Spring….Do a calendar-clearing overhaul.
- I get it. At the start of the new year, chances are you opened up that shiny new desk calendar and began writing neatly on each page, planning your month “oh so carefully.” Somewhere around mid-February with the winter blahs settling in and your busy schedule taking over, you suddenly start scribbling notes in the margins, scratching out one “to do” and replacing it with another “more important” one and then adding the original “to do” back onto your list, albeit farther down! Clients call you, priorities shift and before you know it your daily diary is a disaster. Add in family demands and the odd Doctor or Dentist appointment and suddenly your schedule is sketchy at best. Use spring as the excuse to do a calendar-clearing overhaul and re-prioritize your priorities.
- You know what else spring is a good excuse for? Practising how to say “No.” As entrepreneurs our temptation is to treat everything as a potential opportunity and you never want to be seen as turning away business but sometimes the absolute best thing you can do for yourself, your family AND your business is just say “NO.” You might also want to consider a family wall calendar where every activity for every member of the household is tracked so anyone can see where anyone else is supposed to be at any given time.
- Technology is my Diary. If this is you and writing stuff down is dated and old-fashioned, make sure you are using technology properly. There are a number of planning tools available for both business and personal planning and some great ones like COZI that allows you to plan for the whole family. Every Android and Smartphone device have calendars on them – just be sure you are utilizing all their features to their maximum. Use the notifications and alarms scheduling features frequently if that’s what it takes!
Finally – when all else fails: Take a deep breath and remember – in the end, despite our best efforts to sabotage ourselves – it all gets done!
As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed? Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.
Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.
Writing Right For You
Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!
#timemanagment, #COZI, #gettingthingsdone, #itallgetsdone, #entrepreneur, #self-employed, #scheduling, #planning, #familytime, “ContentCreator